Hubbard unbeaten no longer in Prime Time

BY CODY GREDELL | JULY 11, 2011 7:20 AM

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

As the final seconds of the Prime Time game drained off the clock, the few dozen fans left in the once-packed North Liberty gym rose to their feet to applaud as Ali Farokhmanesh and Zach McCabe ended Anthony Hubbard’s quest for a perfect season, 107-96.

Farokhmanesh and McCabe’s Armstrong/Kroeger team got off to a fast start by scoring 14 of the game’s first 20 points. Iowa walk-on Darius Stokes hit the game’s first 3-point attempt to put his team up 9-4, and Farokhmanesh found McCabe for another 3-pointer to go up 14-4 just two possessions later.

Coach’s Corner/Two Rivers (5-1) responded with a pair of 3-pointers from Northern Iowa’s Chip Rank that made it a 20-16 game in favor of Armstrong (3-3). The teams traded scoring before Farokhmanesh gave his team the lead on a mid-range jumper just before time expired in the first half, 52-50.

A big key to the first-half lead was the squad’s containment of Hubbard, the future Hawkeye and arguably the league’s MVP. The Woodbridge, Va., native scored only 6 points in the first half, and he finished with 19 points for the game.

“Basically, we came out here and tried to make somebody else beat us,” Stokes said. “We just had to do everything we could — double team [Hubbard] and just make it tougher for him to make shots.”

The first part of the second half was more of the same, as the teams traded baskets before McCabe, Farokhmanesh, and others took the game over for good.

“The whole key was for our big guys to come out and double-team [from] 8 to 10 feet from the hoop, instead of standing underneath the hoop,” head coach Dan Aherns said.

This strategy proved to be effective, as Aherns’ Armstrong finished the game by outscoring Coach’s Corner 40-28 over the game’s final 15 minutes.

“They made some good shots on some good plays,” Hubbard said. “Ali made some good shots, and McCabe made some good shots — there wasn’t too much we could do about that.”

McCabe came into Sunday’s game averaging 14 points per contest, and he finished with a season-high 26 points on 10-of-24 shooting — including 5-of-10 from beyond the arc — and 9 rebounds. 
“I just came out, tried to stay calm, and let the game come to me a little bit,” he said.

Farokhmanesh finished with a game-high 32 points on 12-of-25 shooting, including 4-of-11 from long range.

Armstrong also got a boost from some unexpected places. Only seven members of the team were able to make it to North Liberty for the game, which gave such players as Stokes, a redshirt-freshman for the Hawkeyes, more playing time than normal. Stokes finished with a season-high 9 points on 4-of-8 shooting to help his team to the upset.

Eric Washpun and Upper Iowa’s Tucker Wentzien added 14 and 15 points, respectively.

Northern Iowa’s Anthony James led Coach’s Corner with 24-points on 9-of-17 shooting. His Panther teammates Rank and Christopher Olivier each threw in 11, and Alex Novak chipped in 12 points.

All was for naught, though, and they wound up with their first loss of the season.

“I thought we were playing some pretty good defense,” Hubbard said. “They were just making some pretty good shots.”

Even with the loss, though, Hubbard and Company still locked up a No. 1 seed and first-round bye in the Prime Time playoffs. The first round is set to be played on July 17.

> Share your thoughts! Click here to write a Letter to the Editor.

comments powered by Disqus

Privacy Policy (8/15/07) | Terms of Use (4/28/08) | Content Submission Agreement (8/23/07) | Copyright Compliance Policy (8/25/07) | RSS Terms of Use

Copyright © The Daily Iowan, All Rights Reserved.